The 2019 COE Directors’ Conference (COE DIR CONF) took place in Bled, Slovenia, between 9 and 11 July 2019. The event was hosted by DSACT, Admiral Manfred Nielson, and the NATO Mountain Warfare Centre of Excellence, represented by its Director, Colonel Boštjan Blaznik.
The aim of the 2019 COE DIR CONF was to provide a primary venue to bring together all the COE Directors and equivalent representatives from NATO Bodies and Multinational Organizations, to be informed about recent developments, compare experiences, discuss NATO-COE cooperation together with NCS Adaptation and its impact on COEs, provide a forum for an exchange of views on the way ahead, and thus to facilitate networking between the directors in order to increase the individual and collective effectiveness of the Centres.
The Minister of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia, Karl Erjavec, attended the morning session of the first day and warmly welcomed all the conference participants, emphasizing how COEs are extraordinary hubs of knowledge and make an important contribution to the Alliance’s efforts.
COEs are one of the growing areas within NATO, funded by NATO nations. Each COE offers recognized expertise and experience to the benefit of the Alliance in specific areas, including Cyber Defence, Defence against Terrorism, Strategic Communications, Civil-Military Cooperation, and Mountain Warfare.
At the moment there are 25 COEs with NATO accreditation, and a further 3 in the accreditation process.
The Stability Policing COE, in Vicenza, Italy, will host the next COE Directors’ Conference in July 2020.